Man who falsely imprisoned and 'ferociously' beat ex-girlfriend to be assessed for community service

Man who falsely imprisoned and 'ferociously' beat ex-girlfriend to be assessed for community service
Robert Maguire leaving court today. Pic: Collins Courts.

A man who falsely imprisoned and “ferociously” beat his ex-girlfriend because she found a new partner may get community service, a judge has indicated.

The Central Criminal Court heard the 30-year-old woman woke up in her bed to find Robert Maguire (aged 34) standing over her and spitting on her. He threatened to kill her before kicking her in the genitals and beating her into unconsciousness as her children screamed at the bedroom door.

The woman told the court that both her and her eldest child, who was nine at the time, have been left severely traumatised by the attack. She wrote in her victim impact statement that the “consequences of the assault have had a far reaching impact.”

“I need to feel safe in the knowledge that they won't go unnoticed. I have to put my trust in the courts and the law of the land to protect me and my family.”

Today Mr Justice Paul Butler ordered the Probation Service to assess if Maguire is suitable for community service after Michael O'Higgins SC, defending, asked if society would be best served by sending the accused to prison.

The judge said the false imprisonment was at the lower end of the scale. Mr O'Higgins agreed and said it was “incidental” to the assault charge.

Mr Justice Butler said it was a “very, very serious assault” and that the seeking of a community service report should not be been seen as an indication of his final intentions.

Maguire of Colthurst Gardens, Hunting Glen, Lucan in Dublin pleaded guilty to assault causing harm and false imprisonment in the woman's Dublin home on January 14, 2012.

Maguire had been in an on-again, off-again relationship with the woman for over 10 years before they broke up for good in late 2011. He was the father of three of her children.

Mr O'Higgins said the motive for the attack was that Maguire had found out the woman was in a new relationship. He said it was a case of “sexual jealousy.”

“It doesn’t come within a million miles of justification but might help court to understand why the behaviour occurred,” Mr O'Higgins said.

The victim wept at the back of the court as Garda Mairead Scanlon described how she was asleep in bed when she received “a bang” to the face and saw Maguire standing over her, spitting and shouting.

He hit her and pushed her back down on the bed when she tried to get up. He then kicked her in the side.

At this stage the woman's baby, who was in a cot in the room, started crying and her older children were at the bedroom door screaming. The woman realised Maguire had locked the bedroom door.

He wouldn't let her go to the baby. Instead he picked the baby up from the cot, opened the door and gave her to the oldest son.

The woman was screaming for help or for someone to call gardaí when Maguire locked the bedroom door again and told her he was going to kill her “stone dead”. He then started kicking her until she went unconscious.

A next door neighbour had heard the screams and called gardaí but Maguire had fled by the time they arrived. The woman was taken to Tallaght Hospital but had to return the next day as the wait was too long.

She was treated for extensive cuts and bruising including to her genital area where Maguire had kicked her. Maguire was later arrested and admitted the assault.

The court heard Maguire has several previous convictions including one for theft for which he received 240 hours community service.

Mr O'Higgins said it was a “ferocious but brief” attack which must have been humiliating for the victim. He said Maguire was offering an “unequivocal apology” for his actions.

Counsel said Maguire works as a tiler and now has a new partner. He said his client was ashamed and embarrassed about his actions and that he entered an early guilty plea.

Mr Justice Butler remanded Maguire on continuing bail until May 22, next when he will impose sentence.

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